Think Simple Now — a moment of clarity

What should I do with my life? Click here.

The Cry of My Soul

Photo by Simón Pais-Thomas

We had a blissfully fun time in Hawaii, filled with sun, laughter, and relaxation. It was truly an occasion of celebration for love and life. But in life, the opposite extreme also exists within the same time and space continuum.

Shortly after returning from our honeymoon, while still wearing our ear-to-ear smiles, we got news that my grandpa Lozier passed away on the day of our flight home, at the age of 95.

I was deeply saddened by this news and spent the next three weeks in silent mourning. Suddenly, all the problems created by my imagination seemed insignificant and petty, and I began to ponder my own mortality.

I reviewed the previous week, and regretted fighting with my mom in Hawaii. I regretted making her sad and angry with my immature and occasionally lingering teenage ways. I regretted not spending more time with grandma and grandpa Lozier. I regretted not spending more quality time with my parents while in Hawaii. I regretted all the time I spent thinking hateful thoughts about things I had no control over. I wished I could take it all back. I felt sorrow at the realization of lost time, and that I could never get it back again.

This is a record of what I’ve learned over the past few weeks in my pondering of life, death and regret.

Personal Story

Coincidentally, Jeremy had gone overseas for work during this time, and I spent these weeks in my own solitary retreat, reflecting on these emotions.

I had turned off the internet and the phone, and spent my time wandering between coffee shops and restaurants and parks, always with a book in my hand – usually fiction, so I could allow my mind to escape into someone else’s fantasy. I allowed myself to become absorbed with reading, people-watching, and thinking.

But when we are alone with our thoughts, our “pain-body” always finds a way to rear its ugly head and push the bad thoughts to the front. Despite things looking incredibly happy and positive for me, my mind wandered through thoughts of injustice, of guilt, of pain, and of the past which I could not change. What’s worst, my mind painted scenarios and stories that justified those heated thoughts that caused me the pain.

I struggled. I struggled with battling my own mind, my ego, and the reoccurring vision of injustice and regret.

And then it happened… I read a passage in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” that shook me out of the negative state I was in. It said:

Everything happens the way it happens. Once and only once.”

“Ah!! It’s so simple!” I said to no one and everyone at the same time.

I closed my eyes and savored the words. I thought of each of the immediate problems that were bothering me, and repeated the sentence, as an application over the problem statement. And miraculously, it was the answer to all my “problems”.

A sense of peace washed over my Being. I smiled.

What I Learned

We love problems. Our ego thrives on problems. Even when everything is going as planned, we find a way to create conflicts, issues, and unhappiness in our own lives.

We allow our fears of the future and regrets from the past to consume much of our conscious attention.

We feel that we are unable to let go of grievances, of unfairness that we endured, of regrets. We feel unable to forgive someone who has hurt us, or seemingly took advantage of us, or who treated us unfairly.

We grasp onto these thoughts and hang onto them for “dear life”, yet simultaneously, they are causing us the pain from which we want to be freed of. It’s a vicious cycle, that takes us no where we actually want to be.

So what do we do?

The antidote that worked well for me was to ponder this sentence whenever my mind drifted towards a memory from the past that is causing me pain, “Everything happens the way it happens. Once and only once. And there is nothing I can do to change it. It is what it is. Life is short, I don’t want to dwell on this anymore. Let’s move on!

This moment is all that we have. This moment is the only thing that is real, and in this moment, life happens. Let’s not pollute this moment with our past, which is no longer here.

“But wait, I do want to be happy”, you may say. Great! Then let’s stop dwelling on the past!

I am learning that there is no such thing as a mistake, rather everything that’s ever happened is part of our experience in this life, and it contributes towards our growth and development. Everything is the way it is, and it’s beautiful. Accept and allow the past to be.

 

What Can We Do?

awake-from-pain2.jpg
Photo: Cindy Loughridge (flickr stream)

1. Forgive

Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds
on the heel that has crushed it.
~ Mark Twain

Forgiveness isn’t to “let them off easy” for the people you hold grudges against, but a gift to yourself, to allow the healing process to start. Nobody will benefit this more than you. And by you being well, you will spread the fragrance of wellness, compassion and joy to others who come in contact with you.

Being unable to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It pollutes our inner space and disturbs our inner stillness.

It’s easy to say, but much tougher to act upon. It’s true, but it doesn’t mean that we should give up trying, and continuously working on our ability to forgive others, and ourselves.

Forgive our family members, forgive our ex-lovers, forgive our ex-friends, forgive those scenarios that didn’t go our way, forgive those strangers who may have unknowingly hurt us. Know that by forgiving them, we are liberating ourselves to enjoy a happier future. We have nothing to prove. It’s not worth it.

Deepak Chopra has a guided meditation CD that includes the forgiveness process. If you are having a hard time doing so on your own, I recommend it.

2. Death Bed Exercise

A better way to spend our energy, I believe, is to focus on something that we do want. If you found out that you were going to die tomorrow, or within the next month. Would you still be holding on to your regrets, resentments and problems? Won’t they seem petty in comparison?

Grab some paper and sit down somewhere you won’t be disturbed or disrupted. Close your eyes and imagine that you are on your death bed, you can’t move, you can’t speak. Knowing that you only have a day or two left, and then you’re gone forever. Make the images as real as possible, and feel the feelings of being in that position.

Now, imagine all the things you might regret not doing in your life time. Write them down, as fast as possible, without editing. Alternatively, imagine all the things you are grateful for from your life (things that your older self has experienced), things that are most important to your older self, during the last stages of your life. Write them down.

In your current state of consciousness, these are the things most important to you. Make these your priorities, and focus on these things, instead of things from your past that haunt you and hurt you.

3. Follow Your Heart

Create time for yourself, every week (everyday if you are brave) to spend on something you are passionate about. Do something that expresses your creatively, or something that you enjoy quietly. Listen to your heart and follow its whispers of desire.

Take up drawing, acting, dancing, cooking, singing, jogging, music, photography, or writing. Learn a new language you’ve always been curious of. Get lost in a wonderful book. Work on a project that aligns with what you want to see exist in this world.

And if you don’t know what your passions are, don’t worry, create the time anyways, and with enough exploration, you will be sure to fill that space with something that expresses yourself. Trust me, in time, you will find your passion. In the meantime, to do something that feeds your soul.

4. Visual Cues

Momentarily, I find myself slipping and giving into the allures of my mind and pain-body. Please be patient with yourself when this happens. It’s okay to fall backward sometimes, as long as you are moving forward as a whole.

I found it helpful to post visual cues around the house to remind me of the power I have in shifting my emotional state. I have printed and posted the following on my wall near my desk:

Everything happens the way it happens. Once and only once.

And there isn’t anything we can do to change it. Accept the past as the past, and accept that everything happened which serves us for a happier future.

Let it go.

Find a quote or a saying that you connect with, and helps to ground you to the power of the present moment. Either post it on a wall where you can see it, or put it on a small card and carry it with you in a journal or wallet.

Parting Words

Life is a journey of experiences, of learning, of growth, of loving, and ultimately, of contribution. But among the hectic demands of daily life, we forget why we are here and what matters to us most. Our judgment becomes clouded, and we forget to connect authentically and intimately with others. We forget to find meaning, we drift away from our passion and we forget to live in Joy.

Sometimes, life takes a traumatic turn before we are shaken awake, and become reminded that we won’t live forever, that our time in this physical body is limited, and to reflect on questions like; What can I do to contribute to this world? What do I want to leave behind? How do I want to spend my time? Can I forgive this person in order to end the suffering for myself? How can I make every minute count?

** What is most important to you? What thoughts are running through your head that are causing you to suffer? Share your stories and thoughts with us in the comment section. See you there!

In loving memory of Augustin Lozier, 1914-2009.

grandpa-lozier.jpg

Before you go: please share this story on Facebook, RT on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to receive email updates. Thank you for your support!
Connect with TSN Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Instagram RSS
About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

Love this article? Sign up for weekly updates!

Think Simple Now delivers weekly self-reflective, inspiring stories from real people. Join our empowering community by entering your email address below.

54 thoughts on The Cry of My Soul

  1. Tina! Thanks for sharing your story with us. I too have been working on staying present all day everyday. Relationships always seem to throw another wrench in the effort. The ego will always find a way to bring past issues into the now. I like the idea of having post it’s or reminders around the house. Our relationships with others offer us the deepest challenge. It seems somewhat easy now to control my own life/thoughts, but as soon as someone else pops into the equation I have to make an extra effort to stay present and truly listen. Glad to hear I’m not alone in this struggle. I also agree with you about follow your passions. I’m a professional modern dancer and really couldn’t live without it. If I don’t dance at least a few times a week I seriously get depressed. It’s soooo important to do what you love. Thanks for your amazing spirit!

  2. So sorry to hear about grandpa Lozier Tina. May the memories of him comfort and inspire you now in your moment of grief and as you move on in your marriage and your work.

  3. Beautiful post.

    I think dwelling on the past is one of the most destructive habits we humans engage.

    It’s definitely psychotic. Because it’s as if we believe that by dwelling we can change what has been.

    Further, dwelling on the past is not a very humble position to be in. Grasping at our past says that we can not let it go. If we can’t let it go, how humble can we be?

    The irony is that letting go is always the pinnacle path to take. It’s also often the hardest.

    I love this line: “We allow our fears of the future and regrets from the past to consume much of our conscious attention.”

    So absolutely true. To be our best we must let go of our past. Otherwise who we are now is compromised.

  4. John D

    RIP Augustin.

    A great article that really rang true for me Tina.

    This reminded me of a quote I heard and love…

    “There is no certainty, only opportunity”

  5. Thanks for this message, when I open my reader today and see this title “The cry of my soul” that was exactly how my soul is feeling now after finishing a relationship that was very important for me. Reading your article gave me a lot of light of the simplicity of life, and how we make it complicated dwelling in the past. The phrase “move on” really shook me. Life is so beautiful to remain on the past, past is gone and we only have the present moment, no matter how bad it is but it is real, the rest doesn’t exist. Thank you for sharing this.
    I would like to translate your article (Spanish) so I can post it on my blog. Please advise if possible. I will send you a link when ready.

  6. Michelle

    Thank you for sharing such personal subjects with us. It is so comforting to know that others feel the way I do.

    It takes real courage to express your emotions with such purpose and I would like you to know that your energy is received and is appreciated.

  7. Rain

    Wonderful article. Sets one to do some thinking, pulling one out of the mundane tasks of daily life and look back into what is the meaning of the life being led.. Life is nothing but relations tha we build and what they mean to us, with all the emotions involved – the person with whom you shared the best of relations once day may not be the same after some days – be it due to various reasons, but what matters is how do you feel about the relation now – do you ponder over it ? Do negative emotions bother you ? What matters ultimately is one’s own sanity of mind – so how does not secure it ? It may sound selfish but this all that it is.

  8. Hi Tina-

    May your Grandfather rest in blissful peace.

    I recently read a book and a sentence in it really caught my attention. This is not word for word but similar:

    Just as we change clothes the soul changes bodies.

    There was more to it than this but it made me realize that the essence of who we are-our soul-is always alive and forever will be. Your grandfather may not be here in the physical sense but his soul is around you-along with your many loved ones-past and present :)

  9. Kerry Philpott

    I’m really sorry to hear about this news, but you found meaning in it. They say that when the mind starts to look for something, the answer does come along and it did with you.

    Best wishes,
    Kerry

  10. I’m sorry for your loss.
    You give great advice. Live in the moment…appreciate & and enjoy it.

  11. “This moment is all that we have. This moment is the only thing that is real, and in this moment, life happens. Let’s not pollute this moment with our past, which is no longer here.”

    This was beautiful. I’m not sorry for your loss, I’m happy for your time together.

  12. Thanks for the honesty.

    The forgiveness quote is simply… well great.

    I’ve found by using life experiences to help me get to where I’m supposed to be is the key for spiritual growth.

    A passage from Glenn Beck’s The Christmas Sweater (little Eddie is sad because he got an itchy sweater instead of the bike he wanted for x-mas):

    “I know that things have been hard since Dad died. But it’s been hard for both of us. At some point you have to realize that everything happens for a reason. It is up to you to find that reason, learn from it, and let it take you to the place you’re supposed to be—not just where you have ended up.” “…you can either complain about how hard your life is, or you can realize that only you are responsible for it. You get to choose: Am I going to be happy or miserable? And nothing—not a sweater, and certainly not a bike—will ever change that.”

    And for my life experiences? Well, I had to do a million things perfectly wrong to get to where I’m at today. And for that I am grateful.

  13. Personally, I find that if I look back to realize that I was doing my best at the time, it overcomes most of the sense of regret.

    I’m sorry to learn of your loss.

  14. A very beautiful article Tina! Lovely and inspiring

  15. Thanks Tina for continuing to remind us of what is truly important. It is so easy to focus our energy on “less than resourceful” topics. Let this be a firm reminder that the more positive energy we can direct towards life and others, the better we will all be for it. My thoughts are with you and your grandpa.

    Thank you,
    Scott

  16. Great title! Thanks for sharing that very personal, informative and enjoyable post. Much appreciated….

    kindest regards,

    Jonathan

  17. It’s about savoring the moments.

    It reminds me of the lesson in the Black Swan … If you do not run for the train you won’t be upset at missing it…the idea is not to sweat the small stuff in life.

    It also reminds me of the lesson, don’t be afraid of dying, be afraid to have never lived.

    My favorite rule is make the most of what you’ve got and make the most of the time you’ve got. Time is all you’ve got.

  18. hi tina :)

    once again, your words inspires me.
    just let the past go, have fun in the now, and believe that the future will be shining for you.
    about your grandpa’s passing away, i’m sorry to hear that. but you also have to remember once there is birth, there is also death. it’s how life works.
    btw, i’m currently working on my personal blog on my journeys as i start my trying 20’s. i’m still 18 though.
    the blog isn’t even finish yet, but i’ll let you know if it’s done.

    keep that smile on your face. :)
    xoxo

  19. We all need to read these types of posts occasionally so we don’t forget to reflect on what a wonderful world of magic and mystery we are part of.

    Dying is as important as being born, for reasons which we do not fully understand. Your grandfather had a great run and while it is sad when we lose our loved ones, it’s also good that we move on to what follows for that is the destiny of everything that lives.

    As a grandfather very much younger than yours (by 30 years), I often read and contemplate on a poster I have that has a statement by Richter:

    “Like a morning dream,
    life becomes more bright
    the longer we live
    and the reason for everything
    appears more clear.

    What has puzzled us before
    seems less mysterious and the
    crooked paths look straighter
    as we approach the end.”

    This reminds me that with aging comes comprehension and acceptance.

    Stay well.

    Robinoz

  20. A sad story that touched me deeply. Thanks for sharing and teaching.

  21. I am so sorry for the loss of your grandfather. Grief can be a difficult emotion filled with lots of emotional pain. Steven Hayes speaks about clean pain vs. dirty pain. Clean pain is the natural sadness we have when something tragic happens in our life (death, divorce, accidents, etc.). Dirty pain are all the thoughts that we attach to the circumstance such as, “My life will never be the same,” or “What if something happens to my mother after our argument?” These types of thoughts are what causes us the most pain.

    I’ve learned to successfully identify a clean or dirty thought. If it’s dirty, I quickly change it to something that feels better to me. That is my truth.

  22. Adi

    Tina, may i ask u something? Are you a buddhist? :)

  23. Hi Adi,

    I am not a buddhist. I am spiritual, but not religious.
    However, I do connect with buddhist and vedic teachings.

    Tina

Page 2 of 3123
Your thoughts?

Leave a Comment

We’d love to hear them! Please share.

Think Simple Now, a moment of clarity © 2007-2015 ThinkSimpleNow.com Privacy Disclaimer
Back to top